Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh Target...

Oh, Target... I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with you!!!

This morning I ran into Target to pick up a few deals. All of these items had manufacturer's coupons and Target store coupons- I was geeked. I kind of dread selecting a cashier at cash out time. Most (at my store) are extremely uneducated in how to redeem coupons. Unfortunately I always need to have a manager's OK to process all of my coupons. I always plan on having extra time spent at the register.

I try my best (although I am not perfect!!!) not to let these long, and often rude conversations with store employee's & managers ruffle my feathers. Slips of paper should NOT be a cause for me to become unkind. I do however have a hard time finding a kind way to say "I'm going home to call corporate!" (Any suggestions?) I do, however, like to give warning that I will call, and I am a woman of my word!

Today a carried a stack of coupons with me into the store. When I was cashing out the Target coupon for the easy mac which states purchase two easy mac products and receive $1 off your purchase was not accepted. I explained that I had used the coupon on the exact same transaction earlier in the week with no problem. The cashier (who is often a manager as well) called the floor manager over to look at the situation.

The manager looked over the coupon and asked the purchase price of the item. I purchased 4 easy mac's at $.89/each. The manager claimed that I would be receiving a product discount greater than the purchase price. I reminded him that it was for purchasing two products.

Long story short, the manager only looked at the picture on the coupon which shows a twin pack of easy mac- and he made his decision solely from the picture. I showed him the coupon wording, which properly states the redemption policy and what is required for the purchase.

I also had a Target coupon for $1 off any Quaker snack that showed a picture of a box of granola bars. Just one product out of a Quaker line of many products. I purchased 2 boxes of Quaker mini delights-with no problem EVEN though the picture on the Target coupon did not match the item I was purchasing.

You see, if the policy by the cashier/manager at my store was consistent AND it was following corporate coupon redemption policies- that I would submit to obeying the rules. Corporate has solid coupon redemption policies for this very reason!

I checked out and went home to call corporate. When I talked with a very kind customer service rep., she assured me that she would speak with the floor manager at my store... in fact, she allowed me to be on hold with her while she talked to my store. The lead manager from my store was very apologetic. I can return to the store and return my easy mac and re-purchase it with my coupons. It will not be a problem!

I was offered a $3 gift card for my time and trouble (aka: pain and suffering :)) - I said that I'd prefer that my store be coupon educated... we'll see if I still get that gift card :) !

My customer service rep. did tell me that the store manager who had "helped" me by not allowing the coupons- he will need to be re-educated in Target's coupon redemption policies... my husband called this the "Remedial Coupon Class!"

This story is just to share that every consumer has rights.

Consumers have the right to ask questions to the cashier, to remove items from their purchasing order if the cashier is not accepting the coupon, to ask for the manager's assistance in ringing up an order, to call customer service if unfairly or rudely treated.

Consumers do NOT have the right to speak the store employee's or managers unkindly, to get "snarky" when loading your bags, to raise your voice, to talk down to (making someone look/feel stupid), to make threats (like: "you'll be sorry you messed with me"), or to stomp off.

Little slips of paper should NEVER bring the worst behavior in us!

Saving a little bit of money on easy mac may seem like such a small deal in the grand scheme of life (and it is) but stores that do not honor corporate policies now, never will unless you ask for them to be enforced. My store really does give me a hard time each and every time I shop there. If it takes me calling corporate time and time again to create a level of fairness between my Target following their coupon rules and me following Target's coupon rules, then I am willing to be "that squeaky shopper." Hopefully I am creating better shopping enviorments for us all.

PS: I have Target's corporate on speed dial... just in case!



Sometimes there are comment cards right at the registers. I would kindly, but obviously pick one of those up at the beginning of the transaction and keep it alongside your coupons as you check out. I would imagine if they can see the card they might treat you a little bit better. Then of course, fill it out and send it in!


I'm a little confused with what the problem was. If you had $1 off 2 and they were $.89 each, how does that excede the purchase price? You buy two at $1.78, the get a dollar off, paying $.78 right?

Laura Webber

Correct... there was/is no problem. Just a feisty cashier and manager combo. Coupon haters I think :).


I am so glad you wrote this post today! Yesterday at Kroger it took me over a half hour to check out. I had a rain check for Lawry's marinade to make them $1 each and the store manager COULD NOT come to grips with the fact that that meant she had to take off $1.56 of each one. She acted like I was stealing from her even though that's the same price she sold them to everyone else last week! She was not happy that I had coupons on top of the rain check price to make them 50 cents each. But I stayed very calm, let her void out my whole order and rechecked out again so she could make sure I wasn't trying to pull one over on her, and tried to kill them with kindness! I just hope they don't wince next time I walk in the store!!! Gotta love it!


I had the same problem at Kmart, however did not get anywhere even talking to corporate. Their policy is "they will not double a coupon if the value of the coupon is more than the price of a single item". I had a coupon for $1.75 off 3 Suave shampoos which were on sale for 3/$5. (I actually had 2 coupons, bought 6).
So instead of paying $3 for 6 bottles of shampoo, I returned them all. This is the big kicker, though--the cashier rings up my refund, hands me my receipt and tells me, "You actually made out because the computer doesn't recognize your coupons on the refund."
So I did not get any shampoo, but ended up getting $3.50 for my trouble. After talking to corporate, I now know Kmart's policy, yet am still having difficulty understanding the common sense of it!

Laura Webber

Well, sadly, that's Kmart for ya!


UGH I got denied on the Easy Mac Target coupon for the same reason as you...the manager said they had just had a meeting and all agreed you had to buy a 4 pack to use the cpn. I'm calling corporate!


P.S. Don't worry, I was nice. I could see I wasn't getting anywhere and just smiled and left.

Laura Webber

Ah, Carrie- way to be pleasant. Just talk to the people in charge.